No. 1 USC Cruises Past Arizona, 49-9
Nov. 13, 2004
By JOHN NADEL
AP Sports Writer
He wasn't Saturday night.
While Bush was held in check, White ran for 118 yards on 16 carries andscored three touchdowns to lead No. 1 Southern California to a 49-9 victoryover outmanned Arizona.
Matt Leinart passed for 280 yards and three TDs for the Trojans, whoclinched the Pac-10 championship for the second straight year along with aberth in the Rose Bowl.
USC (10-0, 7-0 Pac-10) leads No. 5 California by one game with oneremaining, but is the conference champion by virtue of its 23-17 victory overthe Golden Bears last month.
The Trojans have an opportunity for much more. If they beat Notre Dame andUCLA in their last two games, they almost surely will play for the nationalchampionship, to be contested in the Orange Bowl.
USC's latest triumph extended its overall winning streak to 19 games, itswinning streak in Pac-10 games to 14, and its winning streak at the Los AngelesColiseum to 20. That ties the school record for consecutive victories at home,accomplished twice in the 1920s.
The Trojans have won 30 of their last 31 games and six this season by 30 ormore points.
White, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound sophomore from Denver, scored on runs of 3, 2and 6 yards, giving him 15 touchdowns in 10 games this season and 29 in 23games overall.
Leinart completed a career-high 27 passes in 35 attempts including 11straight at one stage and wasn't intercepted. He has thrown 23 scoring passesthis season, 61 in his career and two or more in 21 of his 23 collegiatestarts.
Favored by 35 points, the Trojans stumbled a bit offensively in the firsthalf, falling behind early, blowing two scoring opportunities and leading just14-3 at the intermission.
The second half was a different story.
White scored his second touchdown to cap a 76-yard drive with thesecond-half kickoff, making it 21-3.
Arizona (2-8, 1-6) drew within 12 points on a 9-yard pass from RichardKovalcheck to Steve Fleming with 4:55 left in the third quarter.
The score was set up by Wilrey Fontenot's recovery of a fumble by Bush atthe USC 40. Syndric Steptoe ran 31 yards on a reverse before the scoring play,which drew boos from some in the Homecoming crowd of 80,167.
That only seemed to anger the Trojans, who scored three touchdowns in thenext 7 minutes for a 42-9 lead. White scored for the third time before Leinartthrew scoring passes of 13 and 12 yards to freshman Dwayne Jarrett, who had sixcatches for a career-high 144 yards.
Hershel Dennis scored on a 1-yard run with 7:27 remaining to complete thescoring.
Nick Folk's career-long 48-yard field goal on Arizona's second possessiongave the Wildcats an early lead.
It didn't last long.
Leinart threw a 5-yard pass to David Kirtman on the first play of the secondquarter to put USC ahead for good. The key play of the Trojans' 57-yard drivewas a 10-yard pass from Leinart to Alex Holmes on fourth-and-3 from the Arizona27.
White's first touchdown with 2:54 left in the second quarter made it 14-3.He scored one play after freshman tailback Desmond Reed took a handoff fromLeinart and threw a 55-yard pass to Jarrett.
Kovalcheck completed 15 of 32 passes for 165 yards with two interceptions.Mike Bell led the Wildcats in rushing with 74 yards on 15 carries.
Arizona drove into USC territory on its first two possessions and recordedfive first downs before the Trojans got their first one. But the Wildcats didvery little offensively after that.